Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NH Brew Fest

This weekend, we'll be pouring Smuttynose beers at the New Hampshire Brew Fest on the grounds of RedHook Brewery here in Portsmouth.  In addition to being a beer festival in our hometown, the event is a fundraiser for the Prescott Park Arts Festival as well as the New England District of the Master Brewer's Association of the Americas.

The Prescott Park Arts Festival is a summer-long program of events.  It encompasses everything from studio art shows and film to theatre and music.  The summer-long art-stravaganza is very friendly for both families and wallets as all it's events are free.  The first edition took place in 1974, making it one of the oldest Portsmouth arts happenings.

The Master Brewer's Association of the America's is one of three technical and educational brewing organizations (the others are in Europe and Japan).  The funds raised will go the New England District's Scholarship Fund.  One scholarship is given out each year and then winner is able to attend either the Brewing and Malting Science course or the Packaging Technology course.  Buying a ticket will ensure a future New England brewer's ability to make more delicious beer for you.  It's kind of like the Stock Market but with a much more predictable outcome.

We'll be pouring 2010 S'Muttonator, 2009 Barleywine, Big A IPA, and Pumpkin Ale.  The VIP session will feature 2009 Wheat Wine.

Paul Barber from the Finestkind IPA label will be on hand as well.

Please come out and join us!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Smuttynose Short Batch #10- Belgian Stout

         If you had eight freshly-emptied whiskey barrels, what would you do?  This is the situation we found ourselves in after we packaged the Ry(e)an Ale.   Sawing them in half and turning them into planters was definitely not an option, so we had to think of a new Short Batch beer.  We didn’t want to do another barrel-aged version of an imperial stout but it was difficult to stop thinking of how tasty the combination of roasted malt, caramel malts, bourbon and oak is.  The obvious choice was to make a Belgian-style stout.  
         Belgian-style stouts aren’t very different than regular imperial stouts.  The most obvious difference is the choice to use a Belgian yeast strain.  Our house American ale yeast leaves a pretty neutral flavor profile but Belgian strains are known for adding very particular flavor profiles from clovey, to fruity to spicy. 
         To accommodate the spicy flavor our Belgian strain contributes, we needed to adjust the flavor profile of the beer by dropping out some of the roasted malt character.  This enables the caramel character to come forward and blend nicely with the bourbon and oak character.
         The challenge was to figure out the volume of beer.  Short batches are always a small portion of the full volume of our brew system.  If we were just going to fill the barrels, then we’d need exactly 424 gallons of beer, which is only about 13.5 brewer’s barrels of volume and there’s no way we could make that small of a batch on our 50-barrel system.  This means we get to release two versions of this beer, a barrel-aged version and a non barrel-aged version.
         The non-barrel-aged version was kegged on 11 June 2010.  The barrel-aged version is still aging at press time.

Stat Box

Malts: 2-Row, Carawheat, Munich, C-120, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Brown Malt

Hops: Magnum, Glacier

Other Ingredients:  D2 Belgian Candi Syrup

Starting Extract 19° Plato
Finishing Extract 4.2° Plato
50 IBU

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Champion Firkin Friday!

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  We've all heard this philosophical quandry and yet the answer is still profound: the tree doesn't make a sound.  

Well, after Big A IPA was named the Best American Beer at the Great British Beer Festival, we thought it would be best to make a sound in our own town.  

This Friday, September 10, our friends at the Portsmouth Brewery will be hosting a special Firkin Friday.  David Yarrington, Director of Brewing Operations will be tapping a firkin of Big A at the Portsmouth Brewery at 4 PM.  This cask was dry-hopped with Santiam, Simcoe, Centennial, and Cascade hops, the exact same ones that were in the winning cask.

We hope to see you all at the pub on Friday so we can share this special beer with you.   Since Portsmouth Little League didn't have the same success as in years past, we hope that this provides a fun, if slightly more adult alternative to celebrating a hometown champion. 


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vunderbar! Short Batch #11

Guten tag!  Short Batch #11 is kegged and ready for delivery!  

Here are Dave's notes about the beer:

Ah, Vunderbar.  So simple.  So elegant.  The impetus of this beer was two-fold.   The first part stemmed from drinking a snot load of Sam Adams Noble Pils this spring.  Great beer.  The other was a visit by Cornelius Faust from Faust Brewery in Germany.  He brewed a pilsner with Tod Mott down at the Portsmouth Brewery that was also quite beautiful.  We, of course, couldn’t possibly let Mott show us up and so had to try our hand at the style.  We’ve made several lagers in the past but this was our first attempt at a beer this delicate.  Luckily, we stole Cornelius’ great idea of boiling the brewing water to soften it before use.  We bumped up the acidulated malt to balance the mash pH and were able to mimic a traditional pilsner quite well.  Hopefully you agree.  Prost.

The Stat Junkie Corner

Weyermann Pilsner Malt
Weyermann Acidulated Malt

Saaz Hops for all hopping

15 IBU, dryhopping at ½ pound per barrel.

5.11% Alcohol by Volume
Starting Extract 10.9° Plato
Terminal Extract 1.9° Plato.

Vunderbar Pils marks a departure from the last few short batches we have brewed.  It's not high in alcohol.  It doesn't use any kind of wild yeast, nor is it barrel-aged.  It's a beer in the classic, if not archetypal, sense of the word.  Best of all, it's blindingly delicious and drinkable.  The low bitterness and moderate body make the beer conducive to some serious elbow bending; we went through five gallons here in less than twenty-four hours. 

After all the kegging was done, we ended up with (27) 15.5-gallon kegs and (60) 5.16-gallon kegs.  Final allocations and destinations have yet to be determined.

We also have designed these swank Vunderbar t-shirts.  Wearing one tells the world "I'm formal, but I like to party," just in German.  Greg Blanchard, our Head Brewer, models one below just before going to the cellar to take some Zahm hits off of BB 8, while blaring side two of the Dio classic, "Holy Diver."

The run is limited and will be on sale soon through our website and retail store.  We'll let you know when they are available through the blog and Facebook/Twitter.